Make Guests Feel at Home
A well-prepared guest space cuts down on holiday stress and makes life easier for both the host and the hosted. You don’t have to have a designated guest room to accomplish this -- just follow a few hospitality principles and everyone will feel at home.
A Good Night's Rest
Start with a comfortable guest bed. A great mattress set is ideal, but a foam egg-carton topper can enhance older ones. If you’ll be transforming general living areas into guest sleeping quarters, consider options like day beds (which become handy seating in their off hours), Murphy beds for hideaway convenience, and folding beds that store easily in closets. Treat guests to quality bedding, including a selection of pillows and an extra blanket or down comforter they can pile on if they get chilly at night.
Anticipate Guests' Needs
Whether the guest space is a separate room or a bunk in the basement, make sure there’s a side table or cabinet nearby equipped with a reading light, a bit of storage space, a clock and bottled water. Provide a small television if space permits, and check that wall outlets are easily accessible so guests can charge cell phones and laptops.
Free Up Closet Space
Clear some space on both the hanging rod and floor of the closet so your guest has somewhere to put shoes and clothes that need to be unfolded. Also supply a handful of hangers and a folding luggage stand.
Crack Down on Clutter
Eliminate clutter. That means no obstacles on floors, no personal documents in plain sight, and no miscellaneous household items on surfaces where a guest might want to place their belongings.
Shade, Silence & Safety
Adjustable window coverings should be present for both privacy and lighting control. Keep the space serene by oiling any squeaky hinges, stopping drips in nearby bathrooms, and silencing any chiming clocks. Ensure safety by illuminating the path to the bathroom with strategically placed nightlights along the way.
Strike the Right Balance with Decor
When it comes to decorating the guest room, keep colors neutral and soothing, and select accessories that enliven the space without getting too personal. (For example, family photos are a bit much since they’re already seeing plenty of you, but a beautiful landscape shot from a vacation would work well.)
Room for Improvement
If you’ve got a powder room with space for expansion, consider installing a compact shower for your guests’ convenience.
Tidy and Inviting
If guests will be sharing your bathroom during their stay, a tidy, neat appearance will help them feel comfortable using it. Unclutter surfaces, take excess products out of the shower and tub and make sure towels and washcloths are abundant and easy to find. Steer clear of heavy scents, because what pleases your nose may not be welcome to everyone else’s.